The end of a fine day
Spraying the maize fields until the water runs out.
Baked lizard anyone?
Caroline, Mary-Anne and Annet after a fine
déjeuner sur l'herbes.
La fête de St Jean in Marciac. Another chance to
meet our neighbours. Something that seems to
happen rarely nowadays in large cities.
The above photo, courtesy of Nigel Jack.
The wasp nest just above the door in one of the granges had been noticed a few weeks before. But since we believe in co-habitation of all creatures big and small, especially when living in the country, we decided to let them go about their business.
No sooner had Perry left for Holland for a week, was Caroline being buzzed by a few daring, angry wasps. Taking this as a sign of imminent wasp war fare, she decided the co-habitation period was over and called the Mairie to find out whether the pompiers still remove bees and wasps nests. “not in this department anymore, Madame, but here's the number of a company specialising in this”. The company quoted an expensive
€ 90,- visit.
While Caroline was contemplating her next move, the Mayor called to offer his help. As they had just gotten rid of some nests around the Mairie he offered to send the village gardener around with a special “bombe” (freezer spray/spuitbus). And within the next 10 minutes, Noel came, saw and conquered and left Caroline feeling guilty, but safe from harm.
In the meantime Perry was working in Holland on a photoshoot. The three days allotted for the actual shoot were grey and wet, apart from the morning when they were shooting indoors! All went off well; Perry staying with Caroline's parents. Unfortunately he had little free time to see friends and was exhausted when he returned.
In that same week, bombs went off in London. Consequent conversations with Perry's family and friends revealed how wary the commuters have become about people around them in the train and metro. Another reason why we are so happy not to be living in a big city anymore.
35c in the shade
This Summer is well on the way to equal the canicule (drought) of 2003. The big lake of Puydarrieux is starting to reveal deep beaches as the water is being pumped all over the departements nearby.
It is so dry that when watering Caroline’s plants each day, the lizards come out to snatch a few drops for survival.
The fact that the earth is so dry, makes for easier digging in the heavy clay soil. For us this is very important, since after two months of hassling him by phone, our man who will do the drainage and fosse toutes eaux has confirmed that he will come to work in the week of August 15th…We have been warned that although he is the best there is, he is also the busiest. Therefore, we shouldn't set our hopes too high that he will start, or finish when we think.
Fly by 1
July is the Tour month and this year Puydarrieux was along the route. The passage of the Tour coincided with a visit from Jaap (Caroline’s cousin) en Joke and their friends. We went up the road to see the caravan of cars and motorbikes. The cyclists came round the bend and we watched them all flash by in couple of minutes.
Fly by 2
Also on a flash visit, Dhyan Sutorious; an old study friend of Caroline's father, came for lunch on his very roundabout route to the Charente. We had a fine time and laughed a lot. Dhyan teaches laugh meditation and was on his way to lead a course at a chateau for a week.
Fly by 3
Another pleasant surprise came from Caroline's friend, Mary-Anne
who was visiting with her friend Annet, in the Ariege. They came for an extensive lunch and a grand tour of the house. Mary-Anne felt as if she had stepped in to a page of a French lifestyle magazine, picnicking under a walnut tree overlooking the Pyrénées. True, true. We feel lucky enough to experience the same feeling on many an occasion.
Our internet life on the line
All of a sudden we found ourselves without an internet connection. We called Wanadoo at 34 euro cents a minute (including 8 minutes listening to a cover version of David Bowie's 'Heroes') to discover that the problem laid by France Telecom. France Telecom shuffled us about and eventually we discovered that there was a fault with our line, But not their problem. Hmmm. July the 14th, Bastille Day, meant four days holiday for our telecom engineers. Deep joy. It turned out that our new neighbour had his phone line newly connected and that through the connection our wires were touching each other in the box. We were fobbed off with a lame and late response, via sms, from FT. That's what you get in a monopoly situation. Thankfully, Perry's clients were sympathetic. Thank you.
Talking about neighbours, we are gradually getting to know more of them. At the Mijoui, (a village gathering for the lamb grillade, held in the salle de fête) we met the man who tiled the roof of our large barn, some 30 years ago. He sat next to Caroline and the two of them had a good time, nattering away about the old days, about what happened in and around our house at that time and life in the village in general. We also met other colourful, local characters and we have the feeling that people are accepting us in their community. One old chap in particular, changed places and came to sit and chat with Perry, saying "I didn't come here to sit with people who drink only water all evening." He'd certainly found the right guy to spend the rest of the evening with. Santé!